By Pastor Adam Van Dop
The first book of the bible, Genesis, tells us how creation stopped short when sin and brokenness entered the world at the fall. When God was speaking curses to Adam, Eve, and the serpent, God told them of the coming Hope. He told them that one day as everything went wrong, all would be made right. God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, forever placing a great distance between them and Himself.
In the first book of the New Testament, Matthew tells us of Christ’s birth, and tells his readers,
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:22-23 | ESV
God at this moment crossed the distance and placed Himself amongst humanity. Immanuel. God with us. God no longer apart from us. God no longer at a distance from us.
This is the essence of Hope coming to earth. Jesus then spent 30 years sharing His life with His mother, Mary and His brothers and sisters. Once baptized, Jesus entered ministry, showing humanity a new way to live into the Hope of His Father. Matthew closes his gospel account telling us how Jesus returned to heaven at the ascension, leaving us Christ’s final words on earth.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:18-20 | ESV
It might have felt like the moments following the fall, that hope was lost as Christ left earth. However, catch the promise at the end of Jesus’ words. Christ will be with us “always, to the end of the age.” Forever. From that moment onwards there will never be a moment where we will experience a distance or separation from God.
Jesus said in John 14:3, “I will come back.” Then in the last chapter of the last book of the bible, Revelation 22, Jesus tells us three times (22:7, 12, & 20), “I am coming soon.” While our hope in God was made complete in the gift of His Son that first Christmas day, our hope remains as we wait upon His return.
Paul writes to the Romans about this same hope:
Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:24-25 | ESV
The band, For King & Country, sings a song called “For God is with Us.” A line in the chorus sings,
So let us begin, the celebration and the ceremony,
There's silence on Earth, but the Heavens are roarin'
Tellin' the story of the coming glory
So let us begin the celebration of the coming glory of our Saviour this Christmas Season as we wait patiently, with hope that He will do, what it is that He said He will do!